Digital Marine news

Traffic jams - why this is evil for carriers and warehouse managers

Almost all terminals in Russia and Europe, where large volumes of goods are delivered or transported by road, face the same problem - truck lines. The problem is so old and familiar that industry participants do not even try to look for solutions and take it as a given. Why are lines a problem?

Unproductive use of the territory

Those who have enough space, allocate large areas for parking. If the inbound and outbound flow of trucks is more evenly distributed, these areas can be used for something more important. For example, for the construction of a warehouse or laboratory.

Development risks

Stevedores, who do not have a place to create parking, accumulate trucks on driveways.

If the terminal is located near a residential area, lines of cars provoke social tension, which may become a problem when a stevedore wants to expand his activities. After all, local residents are already unhappy with the proximity to the port, and the new cargo flows will certainly not please them. Examples are known when entrepreneurs had to completely abandon large projects because of the opposition of the population. Do not underestimate the disgruntled citizens! There were cases when they literally went out with forks on carriers standing along the curb and pierced the wheels.

Lack of control

Since the cars do not arrive in a coordinated and non-scheduled manner, the stevedore cannot adequately plan the load. Now it’s a rush, because there are not enough people, and this creates delays in servicing the cargo; then - a sudden lull, and part of the staff loiters idle. For the money, of course. But if the terminal knows exactly what time the cargo will arrive and can evenly distribute this flow, it can better plan the work of employees and equipment. Say, if it is clear that a large stream will go in the evening, you can ask someone to stay for this time or call someone additionally, and if there are few cars for the evening, some people will be allowed to go home. Work becomes more rhythmic and efficient.

Downtime fee

An hour of operation of the machine costs the forwarder at least 25 euros. But when the truck is in line, it does not do any useful work. If a freight forwarder sends 300-400 vehicles a month to the terminal, and each flight is accompanied by at least a half-hour wait, the cost of downtime is several thousand euros. This forced inefficiency either lies in the price for the client, which affects the competitiveness of the offer, or falls on the shoulders of the forwarder himself, reducing his ability to invest in development, and this also badly affects the stability and competitiveness of the business.

But for the driver downtime is also bad. Instead of standing in line, he could make extra work and earn extra money or spend more time with his family. Waiting for service at the terminal can last for many hours, and you often have to stand in the cold or the heat, so the lazy driver would clearly not mind missing this part of the work process.

In fact, all these problems have a solution - an electronic queue or Qline. It works in the same way as an automatic ticket issuer for service at a bank or post office. It starts in 15 minutes and does not require specialized work skills, as This solution is cloud-based, it works through a web browser even on a phone.

In practice, from the client’s point of view, it looks like this: the forwarder enters the Qline virtual dispatcher terminal on our server or the stevedore’s website, there he sees the intervals when his car can be serviced, selects the appropriate time, enters the truck registration number, driver’s phone number, clicks “save” - the program generates a “ticket” and sends the driver SMS with relevant information. And since the freight forwarder with the driver knows for sure that the car will be accepted, say, from 12:00 to 12:15, they can normally plan work before and after this time.

Stevedore also sees which hours received more requests, which ones less and can plan the loading of people and equipment. If he knows that in a certain period fewer people will be available to him (for example, due to vacations, a flu epidemic, equipment repair), he can reduce the number of slots available these days in advance and, accordingly, distribute the load.

If necessary, the Qline functionality is supplemented by sending files. The function is simple but useful: reserving the time for your truck, the forwarder can use it to transfer supporting documents in the form of photographs or PDF files to the terminal in advance, and the terminal, accordingly, can check the entire package in advance, if necessary, request additional documents or ask for corrections errors and thereby speed up not only the process of unloading/loading the machine but also the processes of accounting and document circulation for the load.

And all this in terms of ease of use is comparable to the same automated teller machine with tickets. Such a system is installed in less than 15 minutes. You do not need to install anything - you can use it on our server, if desired, the Electronic Queue interface can be integrated into the stevedore’s home page - the Marine Digital WMS interface, the warehouse management system around which yard management is built.

Usually, we connect the Electronic queue for 49 euros or 3450 rubles per month without limiting the number of users. Given that the terminal with its help increases the throughput and efficiency of using its resources, even for a small warehouse or terminal, this can save in the region of 50 - 100 thousand euros per year.
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